The Missouri and Xavier men’s basketball programs have agreed to a home-and-home series that will start next season.
The first game will be in Columbia next season, on Dec. 18. The Tigers will play at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati during the 2019-20 season, on Nov. 12, 2019.
"We're always searching for ways to put together a nonconference slate that challenges us and helps spread the Mizzou brand, and this series will do that," Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said. "The matchups will give us an opportunity to compete, improve and grow as a group heading in Southeastern Conference play."
Mizzou and Xavier have played seven times in the past, with the Musketeers leading the all-time series 5-2. They played three seasons in a row, from 2014-16. MU's only time playing at Xavier came in November 2015. That matchup was part of a home-and-home series that began with a game in Columbia in 2014.
The two program's most recent matchup was in November 2016, during Kim Anderson’s final season at MU, when the school’s met at a tournament in Orlando, Fla. Xavier was ranked No. 11 but beat Mizzou by just one point, 83-82.
Had Missouri beaten Florida State in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the Tigers would have faced Xavier in the round of 32. Instead, the Musketeers, which have made five straight NCAA Tournaments, lost to Florida State in that round.
The Musketeers are in a bit of a transition. Their top three players from last season — Trevon Bluiett, J.P. Macura and Kerem Kanter — have all exhausted their eligibility. Xavier also has a new head coach, Travis Steele. Chris Mack left the school to take over at Louisville.
Missouri’s nonconference schedule will also include a Nov. 9, 2018 game at Iowa State that will complete a home-and-home agreement; an appearance in the mid-November Paradise Jam, which will take place in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and the annual Braggin’ Rights game against Illinois in St. Louis.